Public consultation on chemicals of security concern
The Australian Attorney-General’s Department is seeking community feedback on the draft National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern. The consultation closes on 1 March 2013. For more information and details of submissions made visit www.chemicalsecurity.gov.au.
Environment Line is the general inquiries and advice service operated by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). It also responds to community reports of pollution. A 24-hour emergency response and hazardous materials advice service is linked to Environment Line.
If you suspect any suspicious activity relating to the handling, storage or use of chemicals and/or would like information on chemical security in NSW, visit secureNSW.
NSW householders sometimes need to dispose of materials that contain asbestos. Asbestos fibres are hazardous when inhaled. These fibres can be released to the air when asbestos products are incorrectly handled, stored or transported for disposal.
The EPA administers the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2008, which adopts uniform national requirements for the transport of dangerous goods, including the requirements of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code. The Act and its Regulations ensure the proper classification, packaging, labelling and transport of dangerous goods, which put people, property and the environment at risk if they are not handled appropriately.
Under this Act, the EPA maintains a dangerous goods register which contains information about dangerous goods licences for bulk dangerous goods vehicles and the drivers of those vehicles.
The Radiation Control Act 1990, administered by the EPA, aims to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of exposure to ionising and non-ionising radiation. The EPA regulates the use of radioactive substances and radiation equipment in NSW.
Major hazard facilities
WorkCover NSW regulates the storage of dangerous goods and the handling and control of hazardous chemicals in workplaces in NSW. WorkCover also administers the Major Hazard Facilities (MHFs) legislation in NSW, including authorisations, safety case reviews and audits. These regulations give effect to the national code developed by Worksafe Australia that aims to provide a consistent framework for the assessment and control of potential risks associated with MHFs.
The planning process in NSW, administered by local government and the Department of Planning and Infrastructure through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, provides the framework to ensure that safety issues are thoroughly assessed during the planning and design of a facility, including Major Hazard Facilities, and that controls are put in place to give assurance that the facility can be operated safely.
A number of government agencies have officers on secondment to the MHF Unit at WorkCover. This facilitates the integration of activities that relate to these facilities including development approval (Department of Planning and Infrastructure), emergency response (NSW Police, Fire and Rescue NSW) and incident recovery and cleanup (EPA).
Page last updated: 22 April 2013